Nanosensors for the Detection and Characterization of Food, Environmental and Medical Samples

A special issue of Biosensors (ISSN 2079-6374). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosensor and Bioelectronic Devices".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2022) | Viewed by 15500

Special Issue Editors

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
Interests: biosensors; nanotechnology; spectroscopy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Academy of Food Interdisciplinary Science, Dalian Polytechnic University, Qinggongyuan1, Ganjingzi District, Dalian 116034, China
Interests: delivery systems; food nanotechnology; marine food; food functional factor; precision nutrition
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The development of rapid-response biosensing technologies utilizing nanotechnology has become more relevant for furthering our understanding of biological phenomena related to food, agriculture, environment, and medicine. As we understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie the emergence and spread of pathogens/toxins and their consequent impact on our agricultural and food systems, environment and ecosystems, as well as public health, and gain insight into the molecular mechanisms of life itself, it becomes clear that the technologies to investigate, intervene, and mitigate need to be correspondingly small (i.e., within the realm of nanotechnology).

In this Special Issue we will focus on research furthering our understanding of the interaction between nanoscale phenomena and various reagents so that better nano-based biosensing technology can be developed. We will report novel devices and applications using nano-based approaches that can detect various pathogens and/or toxins and chemical pollutants faster and more accurately, especially in the areas of food, environmental and medical samples. This Special Issue will also discuss specificity and sensitivity challenges that still face biosensors applications, and hurdles to be overcome for greater commercialization success of various biosensor technologies. Here, we would like to invite all researchers interested in these topics to join the discussion, and to disseminate their work and findings to the relevant scientific community to advance the welfare of human society. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, progresses in biosensor technologies are more important than ever before.

Dr. Chenxu Yu
Dr. Mingqian Tan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biosensors
  • environmental surveillance
  • pathogens
  • foods
  • medical diagnosis
  • nanomaterials
  • optical
  • electrochemical
  • signal processing
  • nanoimpact

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 3984 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Seed-Mediated Growth of Gold Nanoparticle Labels for DNA Membrane-Based Assays
Biosensors 2023, 13(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios13010002 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1648
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are popular labels for colorimetric detection of various analytes, involving proteins, nucleic acids, viruses, and whole cells because of their outstanding optical properties, inertness, and modification variability. In this work, we present an improved approach for enhancement of color intensity [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are popular labels for colorimetric detection of various analytes, involving proteins, nucleic acids, viruses, and whole cells because of their outstanding optical properties, inertness, and modification variability. In this work, we present an improved approach for enhancement of color intensity for DNA membrane microarrays based on seed-mediated growth of AuNP labels. Biotin-labeled DNA is hybridized with capture oligonucleotide probes immobilized on the microarrays. Then biotin is revealed by a streptavidin–AuNP conjugate followed by the detection of AuNPs. Optimization of seed-mediated enlargement of AuNPs by the reduction of tetrachloroauric acid with hydroxylamine made it possible to change the coloring of specific spots on the microarrays from pink to a more contrasting black with minor background staining. Mean size of the resulting AuNPs was four times larger than before the enhancement. Adjusting the pH of HAuCl4 solution to 3.5 and use of a large excess of hydroxylamine increased the signal/background ratio by several times. The method’s applicability was demonstrated for quantification of a short oligonucleotide of 19 bases and full-length TEM-type β-lactamase genes of 860 bp responsible for the development of bacterial resistance against β-lactam antibiotics. Improved protocol for AuNP enlargement may be further transferred to any other membrane-based assays of nucleic acids with both instrumental and visual colorimetric detection. Full article
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12 pages, 4982 KiB  
Article
Gold Nanoclusters Dispersed on Gold Dendrite-Based Carbon Fibre Microelectrodes for the Sensitive Detection of Nitric Oxide in Human Serum
Biosensors 2022, 12(12), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios12121128 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1425
Abstract
Herein, gold nanoclusters (Au NC) dispersed on gold dendrite (Au DS)-based flexible carbon fibre (AuNC@AuDS|CF) microelectrodes are developed using a one-step electrochemical approach. The as-fabricated AuNC@AuDS|CF microelectrodes work as the prospective electrode materials for the sensitive detection of nitric oxide (NO) in a [...] Read more.
Herein, gold nanoclusters (Au NC) dispersed on gold dendrite (Au DS)-based flexible carbon fibre (AuNC@AuDS|CF) microelectrodes are developed using a one-step electrochemical approach. The as-fabricated AuNC@AuDS|CF microelectrodes work as the prospective electrode materials for the sensitive detection of nitric oxide (NO) in a 0.1 M phosphate buffer (PB) solution. Carbon microfibre acts as an efficient matrix for the direct growth of AuNC@AuDS without any binder/extra reductant. The AuNC@AuDS|CF microelectrodes exhibit outstanding electrocatalytic activity towards NO oxidation, which is ascribed to their large electrochemical active surface area (ECSA), high electrical conductivity, and high dispersion of Au nanoclusters. As a result, the AuNC@AuDS|CF microelectrodes attain a rapid response time (3 s), a low limit of detection (LOD) (0.11 nM), high sensitivity (66.32 µA µM cm−2), a wide linear range (2 nM–7.7 µM), long-term stability, good reproducibility, and a strong anti-interference capability. Moreover, the present microsensor successfully tested for the discriminating detection of NO in real human serum samples, revealing its potential practicability. Full article
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9 pages, 2662 KiB  
Article
Ho2O3-TiO2 Nanobelts Electrode for Highly Selective and Sensitive Detection of Cancer miRNAs
Biosensors 2022, 12(10), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios12100800 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
The design and engineering of effective electrode materials is critical in the development of electrochemical sensors. In the present study, Ho2O3-TiO2 nanobelts were synthesized by an alkaline hydrothermal process. The structure and morphology were investigated by X-ray diffraction [...] Read more.
The design and engineering of effective electrode materials is critical in the development of electrochemical sensors. In the present study, Ho2O3-TiO2 nanobelts were synthesized by an alkaline hydrothermal process. The structure and morphology were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) measurements. The Ho2O3-TiO2 nanobelts showed a distinctly enhanced (004) reflection peak and rough surfaces and were used for the electrochemical selective sensing of various cancer miRNAs, such as prostate cancer miR-141, osteosarcoma miR-21, and pancreatic cancer miR-1290. Voltammetric measurements showed an oxidation peak at +0.4, +0.2, and +1.53 V for the three different cancer biomarkers, respectively, with the detection limit as low as 4.26 aM. The results suggest that the Ho2O3-TiO2 nanobelts can be used as active materials to detect early cancers, for in vitro screening of anticancer drugs, and molecular biology research. Full article
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16 pages, 2229 KiB  
Article
Label-Free Differentiation of Cancer and Non-Cancer Cells Based on Machine-Learning-Algorithm-Assisted Fast Raman Imaging
Biosensors 2022, 12(4), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios12040250 - 15 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2838
Abstract
This paper proposes a rapid, label-free, and non-invasive approach for identifying murine cancer cells (B16F10 melanoma cancer cells) from non-cancer cells (C2C12 muscle cells) using machine-learning-assisted Raman spectroscopic imaging. Through quick Raman spectroscopic imaging, a hyperspectral data processing approach based on machine learning [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a rapid, label-free, and non-invasive approach for identifying murine cancer cells (B16F10 melanoma cancer cells) from non-cancer cells (C2C12 muscle cells) using machine-learning-assisted Raman spectroscopic imaging. Through quick Raman spectroscopic imaging, a hyperspectral data processing approach based on machine learning methods proved capable of presenting the cell structure and distinguishing cancer cells from non-cancer muscle cells without compromising full-spectrum information. This study discovered that biomolecular information–nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids—from cells could be retrieved efficiently from low-quality hyperspectral Raman datasets and then employed for cell line differentiation. Full article
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16 pages, 3681 KiB  
Article
One-Step Fabrication of Stimuli-Responsive Chitosan-Platinum Brushes for Listeria monocytogenes Detection
Biosensors 2021, 11(12), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios11120511 - 13 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2617
Abstract
Bacterial contamination in food-processing facilities is a critical issue that leads to outbreaks compromising the integrity of the food supply and public health. We developed a label-free and rapid electrochemical biosensor for Listeria monocytogenes detection using a new one-step simultaneous sonoelectrodeposition of platinum [...] Read more.
Bacterial contamination in food-processing facilities is a critical issue that leads to outbreaks compromising the integrity of the food supply and public health. We developed a label-free and rapid electrochemical biosensor for Listeria monocytogenes detection using a new one-step simultaneous sonoelectrodeposition of platinum and chitosan (CHI/Pt) to create a biomimetic nanostructure that actuates under pH changes. The XPS analysis shows the effective co-deposition of chitosan and platinum on the electrode surface. This deposition was optimized to enhance the electroactive surface area by 11 times compared with a bare platinum–iridium electrode (p < 0.05). Electrochemical behavior during chitosan actuation (pH-stimulated osmotic swelling) was characterized with three different redox probes (positive, neutral, and negative charge) above and below the isoelectric point of chitosan. These results showed that using a negatively charged redox probe led to the highest electroactive surface area, corroborating previous studies of stimulus–response polymers on metal electrodes. Following this material characterization, CHI/Pt brushes were functionalized with aptamers selective for L. monocytogenes capture. These aptasensors were functional at concentrations up to 106 CFU/mL with no preconcentration nor extraneous reagent addition. Selectivity was assessed in the presence of other Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) and with a food product (chicken broth). Actuation led to improved L. monocytogenes detection with a low limit of detection (33 CFU/10 mL in chicken broth). The aptasensor developed herein offers a simple fabrication procedure with only one-step deposition followed by functionalization and rapid L. monocytogenes detection, with 15 min bacteria capture and 2 min sensing. Full article
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Review

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43 pages, 2817 KiB  
Review
Potential Environmental and Health Implications from the Scaled-Up Production and Disposal of Nanomaterials Used in Biosensors
Biosensors 2022, 12(12), 1082; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios12121082 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2033
Abstract
Biosensors often combine biological recognition elements with nanomaterials of varying compositions and dimensions to facilitate or enhance the operating mechanism of the device. While incorporating nanomaterials is beneficial to developing high-performance biosensors, at the stages of scale-up and disposal, it may lead to [...] Read more.
Biosensors often combine biological recognition elements with nanomaterials of varying compositions and dimensions to facilitate or enhance the operating mechanism of the device. While incorporating nanomaterials is beneficial to developing high-performance biosensors, at the stages of scale-up and disposal, it may lead to the unmanaged release of toxic nanomaterials. Here we attempt to foster connections between the domains of biosensors development and human and environmental toxicology to encourage a holistic approach to the development and scale-up of biosensors. We begin by exploring the toxicity of nanomaterials commonly used in biosensor design. From our analysis, we introduce five factors with a role in nanotoxicity that should be considered at the biosensor development stages to better manage toxicity. Finally, we contextualize the discussion by presenting the relevant stages and routes of exposure in the biosensor life cycle. Our review found little consensus on how the factors presented govern nanomaterial toxicity, especially in composite and alloyed nanomaterials. To bridge the current gap in understanding and mitigate the risks of uncontrolled nanomaterial release, we advocate for greater collaboration through a precautionary One Health approach to future development and a movement towards a circular approach to biosensor use and disposal. Full article
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25 pages, 5579 KiB  
Review
MXene-Based Nucleic Acid Biosensors for Agricultural and Food Systems
Biosensors 2022, 12(11), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios12110982 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2661
Abstract
MXene is a two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterial that exhibits several superior properties suitable for fabricating biosensors. Likewise, the nucleic acid (NA) in oligomerization forms possesses highly specific biorecognition ability and other features amenable to biosensing. Hence the combined use of MXene and NA is [...] Read more.
MXene is a two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterial that exhibits several superior properties suitable for fabricating biosensors. Likewise, the nucleic acid (NA) in oligomerization forms possesses highly specific biorecognition ability and other features amenable to biosensing. Hence the combined use of MXene and NA is becoming increasingly common in biosensor design and development. In this review, MXene- and NA-based biosensors are discussed in terms of their sensing mechanisms and fabrication details. MXenes are introduced from their definition and synthesis process to their characterization followed by their use in NA-mediated biosensor fabrication. The emphasis is placed on the detection of various targets relevant to agricultural and food systems, including microbial pathogens, chemical toxicants, heavy metals, organic pollutants, etc. Finally, current challenges and future perspectives are presented with an eye toward the development of advanced biosensors with improved detection performance. Full article
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